Why girls give away more cash

The richest woman in the world, MacKenzie Scott, is giving away her billions with remarkable speed. On Tuesday, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced she has given almost $4.2 billion to 384 organizations in the past four months. That’s on top of $1.7 billion in gifts she announced this past summer. Her net worth is estimated to be close to $60 billion.

Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies, told The New York Times he couldn’t think of anyone who had given more this year. But even if other people or foundations do end up surpassing Scott’s, what still stands out is how she’s going about it. “She’s disrupting the norms around billionaire philanthropy by moving quickly, not creating a private foundation for her great-grandchildren to give the money away,” Collins told the Times.

Scott’s ex-husband, by contrast, the richest man in the world, isn’t as known for his philanthropy as other high-profile billionaires, and is the only American among the world’s five richest people who hasn’t signed the Giving Pledge, an agreement others have made to donate a majority of their money to charity in their wills.

That got me thinking: Does gender play a role in philanthropy? And what will we see as women (we hope) continue to climb the ranks of the richest people in the world?

It turns out there is a gender gap when it comes to charity. Research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found that not only are women more likely than men to give to charity, they give more money in dollar amounts when they do donate. Women in the top quarter of permanent income, for example, gave 156 percent more to charity than their male peers.

Why? There are a few reasons, as Debra Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

  • Women tend to be more altruistic and empathetic than men.
  • They also have different goals: “Men tend to make charitable gifts when an appeal frames the donation as being in the man’s self-interest or as a way of maintaining the status quo,” Mesch writes, “while women tend to give to promote social change or help others who are less fortunate.”
  • Men and women also have different attitudes toward money: “For men, money may represent power, achievement or prestige, while women tend to view money in terms of personal security, freedom and a way to achieve goals,” she writes. “A 2013 U.S. Trust survey on women and wealth found that ‘women are nearly twice as likely as men to say that giving to charity is the most satisfying aspect of having wealth.’”

Happy Friday, and welcome back to Women Rule. For the first time ever, there is now a woman on every single S&P 500 board, but women still only make up 28 percent of S&P 500 directors.

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VACCINE RACE — “Why might women be less eager to get the coronavirus vaccine? An investigation,” by Monica Hesse: “A trio of surveys released in the past few weeks upended what we knew, or thought we knew, about women’s and men’s behaviors and beliefs during the pandemic. With coronavirus vaccines on the horizon, Pew Research asked nearly 13,000 Americans whether they intended to get one. Women were 13 percentage points less likely than men, 54 to 67 percent, to say they did. A National Geographic survey a few days later reinforced the discrepancy with an even larger gap, women trailing by a full 19 points. In a Gallup poll, the gap was smaller, but women were still 6 points less likely than men to say they planned to get a coronavirus vaccine. What on earth is going on? …

“I called Cary Funk, the author of the Pew study, who ran some controls for me. The biggest factor in a person’s likeliness to want a vaccine was their political party. But when Funk compared Democratic women with Democratic men, or Republican men with Republican women, the gender gap was still there. … Funk pointed out a few other things. In previous unrelated studies, men have been more gung-ho in embracing new genetic technologies. Women have tended toward a wait-and-see approach. It’s possible, Funk said, that these women do intend to be vaccinated, eventually. They just don’t want to go first.

“It was also possible that some women were following medical guidance, not from online anti-vaxxers but actual medical caregivers. Pregnant and lactating women were excluded from Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine trials, as they are from many clinical trials (a few dozen participants inadvertently became pregnant during the course of the studies). This means the existing safety assurances might not feel as reassuring to the subset of women who fear not only for their own health but also for their babies’.” WaPo

— “Of course women of color were among the first to get vaccinated,” by Chabeli Carrazana and Barbara Rodriguez: “The women went first. In hospitals across the country this week, woman after woman became the first in their states to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, serving as symbols of the risks health care workers — the majority of whom are women — have faced this year while working to contain a pandemic that has taken more than 300,000 lives.

“Many of them are nurses tasked with care work — work that is often undervalued and gendered — and yet this year, it embodied the word ‘essential’ in every sense. So essential, in fact, that it was those women, many of them women of color, who were among the first in line to get the vaccines when distribution began. An analysis by The 19th shows about two-thirds of those who were the first or among the first recipients of the vaccine in the 39 states that had inoculated workers as of Tuesday afternoon were women. ” The 19th

TRANSITION 2020 — “Biden to nominate Rep. Deb Haaland for Interior Department,” via POLITICO (If confirmed, she’ll be the first-ever Native American Cabinet secretary.) … “Biden to pick former EPA chief [Gina] McCarthy to lead climate team,” via POLITICO … “DeVos urges career staff to ‘be the resistance’ as Biden takes over,” via POLITICO … “Biden to tap former Michigan Gov. [Jennifer] Granholm to lead Energy Department,” via POLITICO … “Biden picks [Brenda] Mallory to lead White House Council on Environmental Quality,” via POLITICO

SPOTLIGHT — “Biden’s Congress Whisperer,” by Nancy Scola: “Late last month, President-elect Joe Biden named [Louisa] Terrell director of his White House Office of Legislative Affairs — making her the president’s chief ambassador to Congress at a moment when Washington seems all but ungovernable.

“By even the most charitable analyses, he’s handed Terrell a brutal job. The Office of Legislative Affairs is the connective tissue of lawmaking — the inside liaison who hammers out the little deals that makes the big laws happen. …

“If Terrell does make it work, she’ll have two assets. One is that her boss, who spent 36 years in the Senate, treasures the relationships he built there, and is far more of a deal-maker than [Barack] Obama, as senator or president, ever was. … Washington insiders who’ve worked with both of them see her as very much in [Biden’s] mold.

“The other is her own web of connections. Though she hasn’t worked in official Washington since the start of 2017 — most recently, she was the founding executive director of the charitable Biden Foundation, and is coming off a yearlong stint at the consulting giant McKinsey — she has long relationships with a number of the key players in 2021, from Democratic senators to women’s rights advocates to a healthy helping of Republican lobbyists.” POLITICO

ROYAL WATCH — “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, makes her debut as a startup investor,” by Emma Hinchcliffe: “Meghan Markle has made gender equality one of her core causes. The Duchess of Sussex is now extending that mission to the private sector as she begins to build a portfolio of startup investments. The duchess is investing in Clevr Blends, a startup that makes instant oat-milk lattes. In a statement announcing her investment in the brand—which is led by cofounder and CEO Hannah Mendoza—Meghan emphasized her interest in supporting female-founded companies, which received only 2.7% of venture capital funding in 2019. The personal investment is Meghan’s first to be made public.” Fortune

— “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to produce podcasts through exclusive deal with Spotify” NBC

Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, became the first person in the U.S. to receive a Covid-19 vaccination outside of trials as she is inoculated by Dr. Michelle Chester, on Monday in Queens, New York. | AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

AROUND THE WORLD — “She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One,” by Azam Ahmed: “Miriam Rodríguez clutched a pistol in her purse as she ran past the morning crowds on the bridge to Texas. She stopped every few minutes to catch her breath and study the photo of her next target: the florist. She had been hunting him for a year, stalking him online, interrogating the criminals he worked with, even befriending unwitting relatives for tips on his whereabouts. Now she finally had one — a widow called to tell her that he was peddling flowers on the border.

“Ever since 2014, she had been tracking the people responsible for the kidnapping and murder of her 20-year-old daughter, Karen. Half of them were already in prison, not because the authorities had cracked the case, but because she had pursued them on her own, with a meticulous abandon. She cut her hair, dyed it and disguised herself as a pollster, a health worker and an election official to get their names and addresses. She invented excuses to meet their families, unsuspecting grandmothers and cousins who gave her details, however small. She wrote everything down and stuffed it into her black computer bag, building her investigation and tracking them down, one by one. …

“In three years, Mrs. Rodríguez captured nearly every living member of the crew that had abducted her daughter for ransom, a rogues’ gallery of criminals who tried to start new lives — as a born-again Christian, a taxi driver, a car salesman, a babysitter.” NYT

— “Paris city hall fined for hiring too many women under law aimed at fixing gender balance,” via CBS News … “‘There’s a job to be done’: New Zealand’s leader explains success against Covid-19,” via AP … “Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Is Overcoming Her Fears,” via The New Yorker … “Women in many countries face harassment for clothing deemed too religious — or too secular,” via Pew Research Center

CALL ME DOCTOR — “‘One of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate’: Jill Biden responds to WSJ op-ed” via POLITICO

— “‘I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously’: Women with Ph.D.s respond to Dr. Jill Biden column,” by Shefali Luthra, Mariel Padilla and Barbara Rodriguez: “When Dr. Glenna Matthews saw an opinion piece arguing that Dr. Jill Biden should drop her title, it brought back a flood of memories for the 82-year-old. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a column by Joseph Epstein, who took issue with the fact that the future first lady — who earned two master’s degrees and one doctoral degree in education — uses a title that he believes should be reserved for medical doctors. Epstein, who began the piece by referring to Biden as ‘kiddo,’ said that Biden’s usage of doctor felt ‘fraudulent’ and ‘comic.’

“Matthews called the op-ed ‘infuriating.’ She earned a doctorate in American history from Stanford University in the 1970s, which she said had never had a tenured woman on the history faculty. Matthews said when she got her first job at Oklahoma State University, she was the only woman working in the history department and the only woman in a tenure track position within the school of social sciences. Still, during her decades teaching history, she dealt with rude male students who did not address her as Dr. Matthews. She also faced challenges when attempting to access research materials at public facilities, which she wonders if she would have faced as a man.

“‘I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously,’ said Matthews, who completed her studies while balancing research and her kids’ Little League games and doctor’s appointments. The opinion piece prompted immediate rebuke from other women in academia, a field that is already fraught for women. Though women earn more doctorate degrees than men, a smaller percentage of them are tenured professors.” The 19th

— “The Wall Street Journal column about Jill Biden is worse than you thought,” via WaPo

WOMEN AT WORK — “87 million Americans will lose paid leave on Dec. 31. These women’s stories show us the consequences,” by Bryce Covert: “[The Families First Coronavirus Response Act] … passed in March, ensured workers at small- and medium-sized companies up to two weeks of fully paid leave if they got sick with the coronavirus. It also provided up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67 percent of the person’s normal pay.

“But the Labor Department carved out many workers — particularly health-care workers — from qualifying, leaving a huge swath of front-line employees … with little recourse if they got the virus. This disproportionately affected women, who make up more than 80 percent of the country’s nurses and nearly 90 percent of home-care workers. And it’s well-documented that people of color are dying at much higher rates than White Americans when they contract the virus.

“In August, a federal judge ruled that it was illegal for the Labor Department to exclude virtually the entire health-care sector from the paid leave … . [But] the emergency paid leave guaranteed by Congress will expire at the end of the year, leaving as many as 87 million people across the country out of luck if they or their families get sick and they don’t otherwise receive paid leave from their employers. And if the current trend is any indication — in which women, who disproportionately shoulder unpaid care work, are far more likely to disrupt their careers to deal with the effects of the pandemic — it’s women who will keep suffering the most.” The Lily

ON THE HILL — “Abigail Spanberger and Ayanna Pressley on the Democratic Rift,” via The New Yorker

PERSPECTIVE — “Why Some Women Might Want ‘Missed-Period Pills,’” by Patrick Adams: A new study explores the possibilities for “missed-period pills” — pills that would terminate a pregnancy before a woman knows her pregnancy status. According to the study, “a significant number of women would prefer not to know [of their pregnancy status]. Given the choice, they would opt instead to take two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to terminate a pregnancy. …

“‘That so many women would prefer not to have a test — it was pretty shocking,’ said Wendy Sheldon, the primary author on the study and a senior associate at the reproductive health research organization Gynuity Health Projects. ‘It really shows you what stigma [about abortion] has done to women here.’ …

“[One of the researchers] acknowledged that while [making “missed-period pills” widely available] could broaden the spectrum of options for women, it might also give rise to new legislation and perhaps perpetuate the gender stereotypes used to rationalize those restrictions now in place.

“Like that women are conniving or disingenuous,” said Joanna Erdman, an associate professor of health law and policy at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I wouldn’t be surprised if M.R. is characterized by some as a way of hiding or obscuring the truth.”” NYT

SPOTLIGHT — “Glennon Doyle and Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon on Politics, Motherhood, and Doing Hard Things,” via Glamour … “How a Vaccine Whisperer Gets It Done,” via The Cut

HISTORY DEPT. — “The Hidden History of the First Black Women to Serve in the U.S. Navy,” via Atlas Obscura

ON SCREEN — “A Kooky Conversation With Nancy Meyers Muse Diane Keaton,” via Vulture … “Gal Gadot knows this year was rough. She hopes ‘Wonder Woman 1984′ will end it on a high,” via Los Angeles Times

FOR QUEEN’S GAMBIT FANS — “The Real Reasons All the Top Chess Players Are Men,” by Wei Ji Ma: “Many believe that it is the cold hard truth that women are worse at chess than men. … There has never been a female world champion. The best female player has always been ranked substantially lower than the best male player and would probably lose to him in a match. And of the top 100 players in the world, only one is a woman. …

“However, as a chess player and an academic, I can tell you that none of this justifies the conclusion that women are inherently worse at chess than men. The fact that top male players are consistently ranked higher than top female players may have nothing to do with talent, and everything to do with statistics and external factors.

“Let’s start with the statistics. A 2008 study led by psychologist Merim Bilalić points out the logical flaw in citing differences in top rankings as evidence of inherent differences: If one group (female chess players) is much smaller than another (male chess players), then just by chance, one would expect that the best member of the larger group outperforms the best member of the smaller group.

“There are [also] many external factors — social, cultural, and economic — that could make the top female chess player rank lower than the top male player, even with the participation gap corrected for. Top female players are often relegated to women-only invitational tournaments, most likely limiting their ability to increase their ranking. It is possible that national federations invest less in top female players than in their male counterparts, for example, in terms of training or finding sponsors. It’s much easier for male players to make a living from chess. … It is also likely that top female chess players face a particularly hostile environment, leading them to drop out in higher proportions than lower-ranked women.” Slate

VIDEO — Where you live probably stems from racist policies

TRANSITIONS — Janell Ross is joining Time as a senior correspondent covering race and identities. She previously covered race and politics for NBC News Digital. … Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s global content adviser, has been promoted to global chief content officer. … Irina Ridley is now general counsel and corporate secretary at medical device company NeuroPace. She most recently was chief counsel for women’s health at Myriad Genetics. … April Ryan will be TheGrio’s White House correspondent.

WISDOM OF THE WEEK — Roberta “Toni” Meyers Douglas, Director of State Strategy & Reentry, Legal Action Center and Women in Government Relations 2020 Excellence in Advocacy in a Controversial Issue Campaign awardee: “Listen, learn, share, live, laugh and love. The greatest social justice advocates are committed to listening to and learning from the people most directly impacted. Advocate as if it is your life you are fighting for. Find someone to teach what you know. Treat everyone with dignity and respect, no matter their titles or station in life. The problems of the world are not someone else’s problem, they are our problems. Finally, do not forget to enjoy life — laugh a lot and love on yourself in order to sustain the physical and mental strength needed to fight against injustice.” Connect with Roberta here.

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